STILLWATER, Okla. – University of South Alabama runner Carolien Millenaar concluded her Jaguar cross country career Monday at the 2020 NCAA Cross Country Championships hosted by Oklahoma State at the OSU Cross Country Course in Stillwater, Okla. In the women’s 6k race the senior placed 117th out of a field of 256 runners with a time of 21:38.6.

The Jaguar senior became just the second female cross country runner to compete at the NCAA Championship event, joining Laura Martin (1997), and finished 10 spots higher than her on Monday and in the upper half of the field.

Millenaar captured the automatic bid to the meet after winning the Sun Belt Conference individual title back at the end of October at the league championship meet in Mobile. With the title, she became the fourth female –Laura Labuschaigne (2017), Martin (1997) and DeAnne Dahmar (1987) – to win individual conference championship honors as she crossed the line with a personal-best time of 17:12.6.

Millenaar earned Sun Belt all-conference honors for the third time in her career with her victory.

She made history during the season becoming the first female runner in program history to be named Sun Belt Conference Runner of the Week on three occasions. .

Millenaar led the South women in all four races this season, placing either first or second at those events. She leaves as one of the top cross country runners at South as she finished inside the top 15 in 13 of her 19 career races.

Head coach Parker Cowles

– On Carolien Millenaar’s performance at the NCAA Championship meet:
“It is hard to express how hard it is to prepare for a race like this. This was Carolien’s first time in this environment and I think she did terrific. This course was difficult and very hilly. We talked about how important it was to begin controlled and she did that. On the second lap, she really let loose and went for it. I think she passed 70 people in the second half; 60 of those in the last 2k so she finished with everything she had.”

Carolien Millenaar
– On the experience of competing at the NCAA Championship and her performance:
“It was an amazing experience racing amongst the best of the nation. Everything around the race and during was very professional and astonishing to witness. I am so thankful to have gotten the opportunity to go to NCAAs and compete. The race itself I was very pleased with. I had talked with coach Cowles about running even effort and that is what I feel like I did. The hilly course was extremely challenging, but I managed to take advantage of my strength and passed a lot of people during the second half. Overall it was a great experience and a successful outcome.”

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